Tuesday's HOT MIC
The Trump EPA is rescinding one of the biggest power grabs in the history of the US government; the so called "Waters of the U.S." rule that basically brought every stream, creek, and puddle under the benign rule of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Obama-era rule, approved in 2015, gave EPA control over most of the waters in the U.S. -- even if they were on private property.
“We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” Pruitt said in a statement.
In February, President Donald Trump ordered EPA to review WOTUS and, if necessary, replace it with a rule that interprets the term “navigable waters” in a “manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States.”
The Obama administration did not rely on Scalia’s reasoning to craft WOTUS. EPA argued WOTUS was needed to clear up jurisdictional confusion in the wake of two U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Thirty-two states filed suit against EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to overturn the rule. Pruitt was party to the suit while attorney general of Oklahoma. WOTUS opponents saw an early victory in August 2015 when a federal judge in North Dakota issued a stay against the rule, suggesting it suffered from legal problems.
Republicans, industry and property owners saw the rule as a federal land grab. Republicans claimed the EPA’s rule was influenced by left-wing environmental activists.
Basically, if you lived on property with any "navigable" water, the EPA could tell you what you could and could not do on your own land. It turned the concept of private property on its head and would have wreaked havoc on our nation's farms.
It won't get a lot of publicity. But this is by far the biggest rollback of federal power in the Trump era.